FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Finnish language courses offered by the Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian studies


Q: I’m a Russian woman working and living in Finland. I want to learn Finnish. Can I attend your Finnish language courses?
A: The Finnish courses offered by the Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian studies are strictly aimed only for Helsinki University students. Therefore one must already be a student in Helsinki University in order to enroll for our Finnish language courses.  
For other options studying Finnish in Finland, see http://www.finnishcourses.fi/fi.


Q: I have been accepted as an exchange student in Helsinki University for next semester to study law. I would be interested in taking Finnish language courses while studying in Helsinki University. Can I attend you classes?
A: All Helsinki University students can attend our Finnish language courses, both degree and exchange students. There are also courses especially designed for exchange students (see the list of our courses at http://www.helsinki.fi/fus/studying/finnishforinternationalstudents.html)


Q: I’m studying English in Helsinki University. I have some previous knowledge of Finnish. Can I attend your Finnish language courses and if so, do I have to start from the beginner’s level?
A: All Helsinki University students can attend our Finnish courses. Since you already have some previous knowledge of Finnish, you don’t have to start from the beginner’s level. Best way to find the right course is to read the course descriptions of our language courses. If you still have problems deciding witch course is right for you after reading the course descriptions, you can contact teacher Sari Päivärinne (sari.paivarinne[at]helsinki.fi) or the amanuensis. You also need to take a placement test before starting the course. The placement test will tell the level of your Finnish and then we can figure out the right course for you.


Q: What means CEFR?
A: CEFR is an abbreviation that stands for Common European Framework of Reference. It is a guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages. The CEFR can be divided into six levels, which are:
A1 beginner A2 elementary B1 intermediate B2 upper intermediate C1 advanced C2 proficiency
All our Finnish language courses are coded with their CEFR aim level (and also sublevels, such as A2.2). For more information about CEFR can be found for example here.


Q: What means ECTS?
A: ECTS is an abbreviation that stands for European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System. It is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students. For successfully completed studies, ECTS credits are awarded. 1 ECTS point equals about 28 hours of work. A total of 60 credits measure the workload of a full-time student during one academic year; a total of 30 credits is the full-time workload for one semester.


Q: I’m studying at the moment biology in Helsinki University. I have done some Finnish classes in Tallinn University in previous semester. Which level Finnish language course should I attend to?
A: Best way to find the right course is to read the course descriptions of our language courses. If you still have problems deciding witch course is right for you after reading the course descriptions, you can contact teacher Sari Päivärinne (sari.paivarinne[at]helsinki.fi) or the amanuensis.You also need to take a placement test before starting the course. The placement test will tell the level of your Finnish and then we can figure out the right course for you.


Q: What is the placement test for Finnish language courses? Do I need to take it?
A: The placement test is an exam which our teaching staff uses to evaluate the student’s level of Finnish. It is used if student wishes to start studying Finnish somewhere else than the beginner’s courses, eg. students who already have some previous knowledge of Finnish. So students who want to start studying Finnish in higher level than the beginner’s courses and have not passed the previous courses need to take the placement test. One can always ask whether one should or shouldn’t take the placement when one is enrolling for the courses (about registration, see http://www.helsinki.fi/fus/studying/finnishforinternationalstudents.html)

 

Finnish Language and Culture degree programme


Q: I want to study Finnish language in Helsinki University. I am 24 years old medical student from Algeria. I haven’t been studying Finnish before. Can I apply to study in study programme Finnish Language and Culture?
A: The study programme Finnish Language and Culture is held entirely in Finnish. We require at least CEFR B2.1 level of Finnish from our students. Also the entrance exam is held in Finnish, as well are the entrance exam books are in Finnish. One should be able to speak, write and understand Finnish fluently when applying to study in Finnish Language and Culture degree programme.


Q: What are the admission procedures to get to study in Helsinki University?
A: All the admission procedures and contact information to admissions services can be found here: http://www.helsinki.fi/admissions/faculties.htm. Please contact the admission services in any questions about admissions and enrolling to study in Helsinki University.


Q: What are the study fees in study programme Finnish Language and Culture?
A: There are no study fees in Helsinki University. Studying is free also in the study programme of Finnish Language and Culture.

 
Q: On what level my Finnish should be in order to apply for the Finnish Language and Culture degree programme?
A: The study programme Finnish Language and Culture is held entirely in Finnish. We require at least CEFR B2.1 level of Finnish from our students. Also the entrance exam is held in Finnish, as well are the entrance exam books are in Finnish. One should be able to speak, write and understand Finnish fluently when applying to study in Finnish Language and Culture degree programme.


Q: I’ve heard there’s an entrance examination to get to study in Finnish Language and Culture degree programme. What should I know for entrance examination? Can you give me an example of previous exam?
A: The study programme Finnish Language and Culture is held entirely in Finnish. We require at least CEFR B2.1 level of Finnish from our students. One should be able to speak, write and understand Finnish fluently. The exam in spring 2012 had three parts: one dealt mainly with grammar, second with history of literature and in third part one was to write an essay about a book.
Spring’s 2012 entrance exam can be seen here: http://www.helsinki.fi/hum/opiskelijavalinnat/kysymykset/2012/index.htm


Q: I would like to enroll for Master’s degree in Finnish Language and Culture. What previous accomplishments do I have to have and how can I apply to do the Master’s degree?
A: Those with a university degree can apply for admission to a Faculty of Arts master’s programme student through the master’s admissions process. This admissions process is meant for, for example, those who have gained a bachelor’s degree at some other university and who wish to continue their studies at the University of Helsinki. Please note that if you wish apply admission to study in master’s programme in Finnish Language and Culture, you must have studied Finnish as a major or large minor in your bachelor’s degree.
Information on the admissions process for master's programmes is available on the website of the Faculty of Arts (in finnish): http://www.helsinki.fi/hum/opiskelijavalinnat/kv/index.htm


Q: I’m studying mathematics in Helsinki University. I would like to study Finnish Language and Culture as a minor. Are there any requirements that I should be aware of?
A: Yes, Finnish Language and Culture is a restricted subject and we choose our minor students via placement test. There are, however, few other options to get to study Finnish Language and Culture as minor. See more here (in Finnish): http://www.helsinki.fi/sup/suomenkielijakulttuuri/index.html


Q: What are non-graduate studies? How can I apply for them?
A:  After completing a higher university degree, it is possible to apply for the right to study so-called non-graduate studies. Non-graduate studies are supplementary to a degree and therefore do not lead to a new degree. Students can apply for the right to take some study modules or individual courses as non-graduate studies. The right to study is mainly granted to enhance professional competency. More information on the right to study for non-graduate studies is available on the Faculty of Arts website (in finnish).

 

General exchange student questions


Q: Who can apply to study as an exchange student in Helsinki University?
A: All students whose home universities have exchange program contracts with Helsinki University can apply to study as an exchange student in Helsinki University. The biggest exchange program in Europe is Erasmus, but there are other kinds of exchange programs as well. Contact your home university’s international studies’ division or exchange studies division to learn about exchange programs and possibilities of studying abroad.
More info about studying as an exchange student in Helsinki University can be found here: http://www.helsinki.fi/exchange/studies/index.html


Q: What is a free-mover / visiting student?
A: Free-mover / visiting student is one way to study abroad. Free-movers and visiting students don’t apply to study abroad via exchange programs, instead they apply to study abroad by themselves. Contact your home university’s international studies’ division or exchange studies division to learn about different possibilities of studying abroad.


Q: What is Helsinki Summer School? How I can attend their courses?
A: Helsinki Summer School is a three-week academic event organized every August by the universities in Helsinki Metropolitan area. Their courses are intended for advanced Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and PhD students. Enrolling for their courses is via their webpage, where one can also search for different kinds of courses: http://www.helsinkisummerschool.fi/home/index